This evening I’m in a hotel, as so often. I turned on my travelling laptop. I wanted to download Edward J. Watts, City and School in Late Antique Athens and Alexandria, from Academia.edu, in order to OCR it and make the PDF searchable.
But something was wrong. The machine kept stuttering. Eventually I got the file; and set it to OCR. And then, to my horror, a message appeared on-screen: Windows10 has silently and without my permission downloaded a huge “update” – now I understand the stuttering – and is now going to install it.
That was almost two hours ago now. These precious minutes, in which I could have done things, all gone. Microsoft decided their needs took precedence. On my computer.
This is the second time in a few weeks that I have been locked out of my own computer by an arrogant US corporation.
I carry a laptop around with me so that I can work in the evening if need be. This pattern of activity means that I can’t be sure that the laptop will be available to use. Which defeats the whole purpose of having it.
I’ve had enough. This is too much. I am going to revert my travelling laptop to Windows 7, where at least I got a voice in whether downloads happened. I gather the key is on a sticker on the underside of the machine, and media can be downloaded. But it will cost me some hours of nuisance.
Infuriating. But it is intolerable to be prevented from using the machine.